Koz named town attorney; timing of Thomas’ resignation questioned

01/04/2011 8:10 PM |

Former Riverhead Town supervisor Bob Kozakiewicz was officially named town attorney Tuesday at an annual salary of $106,500, which is slightly less than outgoing town attorney Dawn Thomas was earning.

The board also appointed another attorney, William Duffy, to a deputy attorney post at a salary of $88,000.

Mr. Kozakiewicz held the town attorney post from 1996 to 1997.

Ms. Thomas, who has served as town attorney since 2000, earned $109,474 in 2010. She is stepping down to take a job as a law clerk for state Supreme Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo.

Mr. Kozakiewicz was town supervisor for two terms, from 2000 to 2003, and was on the board that hired Ms. Thomas. But it was the resolution to accept Ms. Thomas’ resignation that met with some opposition Tuesday in Town Hall.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio questioned why Ms. Thomas’ resignation was as of Jan. 2, rather than Dec. 31. She said this may entitle her to additional benefits as a 2011 employee that she would not have received had she resigned as of the end of 2010.

Supervisor Sean Walter said he only received Ms. Thomas’ resignation letter on Dec. 30 and the resignation was as of Jan. 2, although he acknowledged that officials knew of her intention to retire.

“You can either accept this or you can fire her as of Dec. 31,” Mr. Walter told the board.

He noted that Ms. Thomas has served the town loyally for 11 years and that the town would still need to consult with her on legal issues in 2011. In addition, he said she’d already worked the two days in 2011.

Ms. Giglio eventually voted to accept the resignation, although Councilman John Dunleavy opposed it.

Town finance administrator Bill Rothaar said the additional two days in 2011 would not entitle Ms. Thomas to any additional sick or personal days, but it may entitle her to additional vacation days, although he said this would depend on her individual contract, of which he did not know the specifics.

As for Mr. Kozakiewicz, he and James Saladino, who is the head of the town Conservative Party and who resigned as of Dec. 31, were hired as part-time town attorneys in early 2010, at an annual salary of $44,000 each. They were hired to replace a full-time attorney who had left and was making $100,483.

At the time, some had questioned why the town part-time attorneys were getting 75 percent of their health insurance paid by the town, but Mr. Walter had countered that the town was paying less for the two part-timers, each working 20-hour weeks, than they were for a full-time attorney working 35 hours a week.

Under the agreement approved Tuesday, Mr. Kozakiewicz and Mr. Duffy will serve as full-time employees and have 100 percent of their health insurance paid by the town.

The change in attorneys was basically the only major revision approved by the Town Board in its 2011 organizational meeting Tuesday.

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9 Comment

  • Is this the same James Saladino who is a real estate agent?

  • Thomas was originally going to leave in Nov..Then it was Dec 31st Now we find out that it’s Jan 2…

    it smells…

  • Apparently there are two different James Saladinos. This guy lives in Wading River and is an attorney. The other one lives in Quogue and works for Prudential real estate in Westhampton.

  • Of course it stinks!!! I can guarantee that Sean’s office and Mr. Rothar know exactly what is going on here!!! Way to look out for taxpayers and employees. One more reason the town is also glad to see Dawn leave, now if only she would take the rest with her….

  • Wow !!! What a style ! I love this designer and NOVELTY House. all shapes and size, now a days you can expect the unexpected.

  • Thank you Karl Grossman, thank you Senator LaValle, and thank you Assemblyman Thiele.

  • The problem remains that there are no hard sciences. When the college was to open originally, it had a full science curriculum as part of the environmental program. Then the other state environmental college at Syracuse objected and the curriculum at Southampton was gutted and the academic dean left. Unless the original curriculum can be restored, Stony Brook Southampton will not be a serious place. The model should be Huxley College of West Washington University, which has a terrific faculty who teach and do serious research.

  • What science classes were gutted from the current curriculum?

    I see 2 semesters of calculus, 2 semesters of Chemistry, 2 Biology classes, a physical biology class, and Physics, plus statistics:

    Coastal Environmental Studies – Just one of the Sustainability majors

    : Foundation Courses (34-35 credits)

    MAT 125/126 or MAT 131-C Calculus (8-9 credits)
    CHE 131-E/133 and CHE 132 General Chemistry I and II
    SBC 111 Introduction to Sustainability Studies
    SBC 113-E/114 Physical Geography (4 credits)
    SBC 201 Systems and Models (1 credit)
    SBC 205 Introduction to Geospatial Analysis (1 credit)
    BIO 201-E Fundamentals of Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems (3 credits)
    BIO 204 Fundamentals of Scientific Inquiry in the Biological Sciences (2 credits)
    ENS 119 Physics for Environmental Studies (4 credits)
    AMS 102 Elements of Statistics


    C: Core Courses (29 credits)

    MAR 333-H Coastal Oceanography (3 credits)
    ENV 315 Coastal Groundwater Hydrology (3 credits)
    ENV 316 Coastal Zone Management (3 credits)
    SBC 313 GIS Applications and Design (4 credits)
    ENV 320/321 Chemistry for Environmental Scientists (4 credits)


    As part of the Core Requirements students are required to select 9 credits from Group A and three credits from Group B:

    GROUP A: Environmental Studies Electives
    BIO 351-H Ecology (3 credits)
    BIO 352 Ecology Laboratory (3 credits)
    EDP 305 Risk Assessment and Sustainable Development (3 credits)
    ENV 304-H Global Environmental Change (3 credits)
    ENV 340 Contemporary Topics in Environmental Science (3 credits)
    ENV 317 Coastal Pond Algal Ecology (3 credits)
    ENV 487 Research in Environmental Science (1-3 credits)
    ENV 405 Field Camp (3-6 credits)
    MAR 303 Long Island Marine Habitats (3 credits)
    MAR 304-E Waves, Tides, and Beaches (3 credits)
    MAR 315-H Conservation Biology and Marine Biodiversity (3 credits)
    MAR 336 Marine Pollution (3 credits)
    MAR 388 Tropical Marine Ecology (4 credits)
    EHI 310 Restoration Ecology (3 credits)
    ENS 380 Stony Brook in Tanzania: Lake Victoria Environment and Human Health (4 credits)

    GROUP B: Environment, Society and Policy
    SBC 309 Global Environmental Politics (3 credits)
    SUS 341-H Environmental Treatises and Protocols (3 credits)
    SBC 307-K(4) Environmental History of North America (3 credits)
    SUS 342-HEnergy and Mineral Resources (3 credits)
    EHI 340 Ecological and Social Dimensions of Disease (3 credits)

    And there is more!

    As part of the degree requirements, students will work in teams with students enrolled in related majors to solve problems collaboratively. Students are encouraged to take advantage of independent research opportunities, internships, and field camps to gain real-world experience.

    “With grounding in courses ranging from marine science to ecosystems and environmental policy, the Coastal Environmental Studies program aims to create scientists and leaders alike. Students not only have Long Island’s oceans and bays from which to learn – with vessels leaving the campus Marine Station daily – but also area aquifers, Central Pine Barrens and the 82-acre Hamptons campus itself, full of rare plant and tree species.

    “ Eastern Long Island provides the perfect laboratory to address the precarious nature of our world’s coasts, and to help us seek to find solutions before it’s too late,” said program faculty director Dr. Michael Sperazza. “This really exemplifies acting locally while reaching globally.”